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Brian, Kathryn Ballard donate building to FSU Moran School of Entrepreneurship

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Florida State University’s newly minted Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship is coming to Monroe Street thanks to lobbying heavyweight Brian Ballard and his wife Kathryn, an FSU trustee.

“We are so excited and proud to support the Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship,” Kathryn Ballard said. “This will be a special place for FSU students, faculty and alumni for generations to come.”

The Ballard’s announced Monday that they had donated a 19,000-square-foot, $1.1 million building located at 111 S. Monroe St. to the university, which in turn announced it would use the building to house the new school.

“This incredibly generous gift is a remarkable demonstration of Brian and Kathryn Ballards’ support for Florida State University,” said FSU President John Thrasher. “It will enable us to quickly follow through on making the Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship a reality.”

The Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship, which is currently scheduled to launch in August 2018, was borne out of a $100 million gift — the largest in FSU history — given to the university in December by Jan Moran and the Jim Moran Foundation.

“The culmination of these two gifts will give rise to the Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship, the first interdisciplinary entrepreneurship school of its kind in the nation, allowing us to give our students a world-class education in entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Sally McRorie, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs.

Florida State’s vice president of university advancement, Tom Jennings, said when the Ballard’s started talking to the university about the Monroe Street property, they had a clear vision of giving FSU a more visible academic presence in downtown Tallahassee.

“We are honored to be able to play an integral role in providing a home to Florida State’s newest school, which will revitalize a highly prominent corner in downtown Tallahassee,” Brian Ballard said.

FSU officials said the school’s academic faculty will maintain offices in their respective colleges, while the new building will house the school’s staff and its director, Susan Fiorito.

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for SaintPetersBlog and While at the University of Florida, Wilson was an editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and after graduation, he moved to Los Angeles to cover business deals for The Hollywood Reporter. Before joining Extensive Enterprises, Wilson covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools.

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